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  • Writer's pictureTom

Training for the Valencia marathon

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

At the start of the year I was injured with achilles tendinopathy, and staring at my training plan for the London marathon and seeing the weeks ticking by with no running. Having taken a break from the marathon in 2022 (two in 2021 left me feeling a bit drained), I really wanted to get back into it this year. Anticipating either not being able to run at London, or at best, a subpar effort, in haste I signed up for what is known in the running world as the fastest race out there, the Valencia Marathon.

As it turns out, I recovered in time to get 10 weeks training in for London. Much less than usual, but prior to being injured for 6 weeks I had been training consistently and had a good aerobic base. Around halfway through the training block I discovered the Easy Interval Method (EIM), which I've written about on my blog. I believe that this invigorated my training and supported what was overall a sharper and less draining training block. I ended up with a PB of 2:49:29, beating my previous best of 2:56.56.


Having sworn that I wouldn't do two marathons in a year again, I now find myself doing just that. But I'm not as worried as I might have been. I believe that I've found a way to train for the marathon which doesn't require the typical 16 week build up, with numerous 20 mile slogs and constantly worrying about my mileage. I'm going to base my plan on the principles of EIM (see my pace chart below, which is based on a 34 minute 10k time), aiming to run 6 days a week, and do 2 home-based strength sessions which take around 25 minutes to complete, using heavy duty resistance bands and dumbbells. Unlike previous blocks I'm not planning to do a long run over 18 miles every week. I'm probably going to alternate weeks so that one week is long and the other is more like half marathon distance. I'm going to trust in quality over quantity.


I'm going to make sure that I include a few races as part of the build up, in particular a half marathon. I haven't managed to do one in my last two marathons and I regret it. As well as not benefiting from the fitness boost that a tough half marathon can deliver, I feel like I missed out on the confidence of knowing that I can handle a fast marathon pace. My 5k fitness should mean a marathon time faster than what I've achieved to date, and I believe that my fitness has been there to realise those times, I've just lacked the confidence to go for it out of a fear of blowing up. Hopefully a half marathon will help me bridge that gap.


I'm going to summarise my Valencia marathon training in separate weekly posts, so if you're interested then do follow along!


EIM pace chart (34 minute 10k)

Interval length

Time range

Pace range (min/mile)

2000

7:40 - 8:02

6:10 - 6.28

1000

3:39 - 3:53

5:52 - 6:15

800

2:44 - 2:56

5:30 - 5:54

400

1:18 - 1:24

5:14 - 5:38

200

0:34 - 0:38

4:34 - 5:06


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